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Phytonutrients: Taste a Real Rainbow

Updated: Sep 25, 2019

Phytonutrients are colorful compounds in plant foods that have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, Alzhiemer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and stroke. They are also believed to improve immune system function and hormonal balance.


They can be divided into eight categories:



Carotenoids

(Beta-Carotene, Lycopene, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin)


Found in:


Red, orange, and pink foods: carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, apricots, cantaloupe, oranges, watermelon.



Deep green foods: broccoli, kale, collard greens, swiss chard, bok choy, [insert favorite leafy green veg here]



Flavonoids

(anthocyanin, quercetin)


Found in:



apples, citrus, onions, soybeans and high-quality soy products, coffee, and tea.



Indoles, Glucosinolates, Isothiocyanates

(sulphoraphane)


Found in:



Broccoli, cabbage, collards, kale, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts.



Inositol

(phytic acid)


Found in:



Unprocessed or whole-grain: corn, oats, rice, rye, and wheat;

Nuts, soybeans and high-quality soy products.



Polyphenols

(ellagic acid, resveratrol)


Found in:





Green tea, grapes, wine, berries, citrus fruits, apples, whole grains, peanuts.



Terpenes:

(perillyl alcohol, limonene, carnosol)


Found in:





Cherries, citrus fruit peel, rosemary.



But wait, there's more! Learn about other sources of antioxidants here.



Resources:


https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Vitamins-and-Minerals/Phytonutrients-%E2%80%93-Nature%E2%80%99s-Natural-Defense.aspx


https://www.aicr.org/reduce-your-cancer-risk/diet/elements_phytochemicals.html


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